Transforming job descriptions into a Super Bowl ad with Ongig

4 minutes read
Ongig's co-founder and CEO talks about the importance of job descriptions and applicant tracking systems.


Rob Kelly is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ongig, an #HRtech platform that helps organisations around the world create a consistent and engaging visual experience for candidates who click over from Google, Glass Door, Indeed, and LinkedIn.

Ongig’s mission is to transform job descriptions into advertising vehicles. It believes every job is a million dollar transaction and should be treated like a Super Bowl ad, to attract the best talent out there.

Each year, Ongig publishes The Top Talent Tracking System Report to identify trends stemming from data around which applicant tracking systems are being used by which employers, who has the biggest market share, and which are the fastest growing systems with the strongest market penetration rates. You can read it for free on its blog.

A strong trend, and one Ongig expects to see grow into the future, is the continued rise of Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software with open APIs – meaning the software is open and developers are able to integrate it with, and build on top of, other software platforms (like your onboarding system or a marketing platform such as Ongig).

Your ATS is meant to track candidates, not attract them… but, obviously, employers still want to attract top talent.

Talent Acquisition has been traditionally treated as a function of human resources, but at its core, it is a sales and marketing-focused activity. Forward-thinking companies around the world have witnessed this shift first-hand and have responded by improving recruiting efforts and leveraging marketing and sales techniques and technologies to drive efficiencies and successes within Talent Attraction.

For example, a traditional job description often isn't a very effective vehicle for organisations to attract the best talent because it's generally poorly written and generated by an ATS whose job is to track the candidate, not market to and attract the candidate.

So why is Google playing in the #HRtech industry? It sees vast market opportunities and numerous ways to change the way people and HR teams interact with each other via technology. Here are three of its recent bets:

  1. Google Jobs - If you make a search related to an employer and a job, Google will generate content box with job listings. These jobs are typically coming from job boards like Glassdoor, Monster, and Ziprecruiter (but not Indeed, who Google appears to be competing with). That's an interesting trend because now Google is really taking that candidate flow and pointing them to job board pages.
  2. Google Jobs API - Using artificial intelligence and a huge database of synonyms and alternatives for words or abbreviations that are not attractive to the talent pool, Google can improve a job posting from your website and match it to a candidate.
  3. Google Hire ATS - Google launched a beta version of their own ATS with 15 or 20 clients.

Rob believes that all three pieces of Google’s recently announced technologies are going to come together and that's going to be one, large synergistic play for Google in this space, if they keep at it.

There's a lot of value there, but it means that employers really have to know their Google stuff. To do well on Google, there are massive checklists and, generally speaking, it’s not easy to partner with Google. So organisations are going to have to get used to using automated tools, or find someone who is a Google partner or Google expert.

Three Things To Discuss With Your Team:

  1. Look for open source software, and find a partner who allows for future software integration capabilities. There may be a kid in Singapore or Silicon Valley right now, creating an app that will be a true game-changer for your HR business, and you want to make sure that you can integrate that into your your system, whether it's three months from now or three years from now. Open source software is the way to go.
  2. When you pick an ATS, have an eye towards choosing the best-of-breed ATS that does what it's designed to do: track candidates. Don’t choose one that is trying to solve for every feature you need outside of the ATS.
  3. Don't sleep on job descriptions.Yes, they're unsexy and often overlooked, but they need to be a Super Bowl ad selling your job opportunity to the world.

To enjoy the entire podcast with Rob, click here.

If you like what you hear, subscribe via iTunes by clicking here and Google Play by clicking here. While you’re there, leave a review – we always love to hear from you! 

And remember… Develop. Always.



Production & Development for Top Employers Institute’s Talent is Transforming by Podcast Masters



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Transforming job descriptions into a Super Bowl ad with Ongig

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